Love in Bloom Paperback – Mar 31 2009
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“A sweet tale of unexpected friendships blossoming in a community garden, this well-written story will have readers sympathizing with the characters' plights -- and itching to get their fingers digging in the dirt!” ―RT Book Reviews
“Gardening, girl talk, and a gorgeous guy underpin this tale of what constitutes beauty and one's true self.” ―Library Journal
“A congenial cast of subsidiary characters ... meet Hope at a community garden plot and share their stories there. Roberts effectively knits these troubled but kindly characters together in a story line that throws the reader a few unexpected twists.” ―The Seattle Times
“Love in Bloom is a wonderful story with characters so real and defined I feel like I am personally acquainted with them. ... There is humor and emotion in large quantities in this fantastic book that is next to impossible to put down. Kudos and a large bouquet of flowers to Sheila Roberts for giving us one of the best books of the year.” ―Fresh Fiction
“A great read.” ―BookLoons
About the Author
Sheila Roberts is the author of On Strike for Christmas, Small Change, The Snow Globe, Bikini Season, and other bestselling books. Before settling into her writing life, Roberts did lots of other things, including owning a singing telegram company and playing in a band. Now, when she's not speaking to women's groups or at conferences, she can be found writing about the things near and dear to women's hearts: family, friends, and chocolate. She lives on a lake in Washington.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Heart Lake is a small, tight-knit community in western Washington. Its beauty and charm has attracted newcomers and keeps many native residents.
Flower shop owner Hope has recently recovered from breast cancer. Although she had reconstruction, she is very self-conscious as the surgery left her with scars, as many emotional as physical. She feels that she is never going to be attractive to men again. When the very attractive Jason enters her shop, both she and her sister Bobbi are instantly attracted to him, but feeling about herself as she does, she helps Bobbi try to snag "Mr. Right" even though she would love to get to know the handsome contractor better. It isn't long before Jason takes the bait and begins to date the fun-loving Bobbi, who, to try to make herself more attractive to him, tells him little white lies regarding her life and the activities she enjoys. Will he ever find out that he really has more in common with Hope?
Seventy-seven year old Millie is new to town. A widow, she has moved in with her busy divorced daughter Debra to help her care for her grandchildren. But Debra is quick to take advantage of Millie's generosity leaving very little time for Millie to have a life of her own. An avid gardener, Millie soon finds out about the community garden and doesn't waste anytime staking out her own plot. Soon a flower-delivering mishap changes her life in a way she could have never imagined.
Also new to town is young wife and mother Amber whose chef husband lost their restaurant business. They had to sell their home to pay off their loans, and now husband Ty is more often a couch potato then a job applicant which causes friction between the two. They have found a cozy cabin in Heart Lake but to help make ends meet, Amber and her young son Seth stake out a plot in the community garden next to Millie's.
Millie and Amber become fast friends. Millie finds Amber more appreciative of her than her own daughter does. Millie shares some cookie recipes with Amber and soon she is selling the delicious lavender and carrot cookies to help with household expenses.
This book as it all - romance, women's friendship, poignancy, and characters the reader can't help but love. Sheila Roberts has written a heartwarming novel that is difficult to put down once started. It's a great read for the springtime and gardening time where not only flowers but love is in bloom. Highly recommended.
Septuagenarian widow Millie Baldwin moved to Heart Lake to move on with her life and assist her acrimonious recently divorced daughter Debra and two grandchildren. Also newly arrived in town is Amber Howell seeking to start over at a time when she feels she has nothing. These newcomers and Hope meet at a community garden plot project and becomes friends nurturing one another as they struggle to start over.
Bobbi is attracted to Jason's friend Duke whom she meets after she starts dating Jason. Millie meets the younger Altheus and encouraged by her two garden buds over the objections of her offspring, decides to see him. Amber struggles with her depressed husband Ty, whose feelings of failure after their restaurant went bankrupt leaves her alone to raise their son and bring in income while he wallows his life way.
This is a profound character study of three females at different points in their respective lives summed up nicely by Millie who poignantly realizes that strangers make her feel needed and wanted more than her family does. The ensemble cast is fully developed so everyone matters. With plenty of metaphors between gardening and living, fans will relish the adventures of the three amigas as all kinds of relationships blossom when LOVE IN BLOOM is flourishing.
This was a lovely book; sweet and uplifting. I liked the way the women's individual stories were woven throughout the book and Hope's story was particularly touching. The character of Jason, Hope's "love interest", was nicely written and Hope's sister, Bobbi, offers some comic relief. If you're reading this for the romance you might be disappointed - the focus is on the women and the strength they draw from each other. Jason and Hope's relationship is more of a side story but it is engaging none the less.
The setting is present day Washington state; some mild swearing with no explicit sex.
I know that Hope lived with fear and she felt the deformity left from breast surgery made her undesirable. I can understand the fear, but I couldn't as far as the scarring to her breast was concerned. How many of us are perfect, we all have flaws whether on the inside or on the outside. I couldn't stand her sister who was trying to find herself in all the wrong places. Looks aren't everything honey eventually age sets in then what have you got? Even the girls that stood right out there sag. I wanted to kick her right in the ass.
Amber's problems I'm sure we all could relate to. With today's economy alot of us have found ourselves without employment but I thought her patience with her husband was short and it felt like she blamed him for the loss of their business. He wanted to curl up in a corner and forget but she kept reminding him of his failure .
Millie was there for all of them . They say with age comes wisdom although I felt each one helped the other through some difficult times.